Uncommon Core: book review by Karyn McWhirter

not final cover“Uncommon Core: 25 Ways to Help Your Child Succeed In a Cookie Cutter Educational System is a down to earth guide to helping young people develop the life skills they need for success in school, the work place, and in their personal relationships. As a high school teacher, I see the impact of students’ communication skills every day. Through her recollections, Pauline Hawkins fills in the spaces between how parents experience their children and how their teachers do. Her stories are personal yet so common that every teacher I know can relate to them and share many of their own very similar experiences. She reminds us that no amount of curriculum design, dynamic teaching, student practice, studying, or extra tutoring will substitute for teaching children about listening and communicating effectively and respectfully,  valuing themselves and others, practicing patience, compassion, and honesty, or taking responsibility when it comes to growing up to be happy and successful. Teachers and parents alike have a responsibility to shape children into effective people, not just straight A students, and this book provides some very practical ways we can do just that.  We must never forget that children learn wherever they are, and Pauline translates the wisdom she acquired in the classroom and as a mother into practical advice for parents, teachers, and students themselves.”

Karyn McWhirter is a high-school English teacher and yearbook sponsor. During her 14 years in the classroom, she has taught all levels of students and courses from basic skills classes to Advanced Placement.


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